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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Cycling to mark 150 years of police

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 06, 2013
First Published: 00:14 IST(6/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:16 IST(6/2/2013)

Braving the unseasonal downpour that lashed the national Capital, Harish Baijal and Harshad Purnapatre cycled through Delhi roads negotiating water-logging and fighting vehicular congestion on Tuesday.

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On the eve of their adventurous cycling trip from India Gate in Delhi to Mumbai's Gateway of India to mark 150 years of modern Indian police, the duo reached India Gate for a recce.

Their journey starts on Wednesday at 6 am. But why cycling? 

"Is rain in February normal here? This is an indirect impact of climate change. We were looking at some athletic activity and chose cycling to promote an alternative mode of transport,"said Baijal, deputy commissioner of police from Maharashtra.

It was post the Queen's proclamation for reforms in 1862, that the British laid the foundation for the modern Indian police, beginning in 1863.

Baijal, the high-profile police officer credited with putting brakes on drunken driving on Mumbai roads by sending such drivers to jail, and now posted at Nasik, and Purnapatre, an HR consultant, plan to cycle almost 1,500 kms to Mumbai over the next 10 days.

Fitness enthusiast Baijal has been cycling to office several times, while Purnapatre is a veteran of long-distance cycling trips for the last eight years.

"For the last two months, we have been practising almost 80 kms per day," Baijal said.

For Purnapatre, although it is a wonderful opportunity, it would mean certain compromise with his work.

"But I am carrying my laptop, so I think I would be able to catch up every night a couple of hours," he adds quickly.

And possibly, the best part is that from Jaipur, they would be joined by their wives too. A support vehicle with two extra cycles, "so that there is no break in the journey", and their repair gear will travel with them.


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